Ouch! Why I Got Hurt at CrossFit


It finally happened. I got hurt. And it was doing CrossFit.

Before you get all up in arms, however, let me assure you it was NOT CrossFit’s fault. It was not my Coach’s fault. It was not my Box’s fault. It was my fault.

And I made that clear with everyone I talked to about the incident. We had been doing the CrossFit Total, and I pushed myself on the deadlift a little too far. My lower back had been acting up the past week, but even after landing a 5-pound PR on my deadlift, I wanted to go heavier. I knew I shouldn’t; I knew I should be happy with my new record, but I got greedy.

Thus, I had one heck of a muscle spasm. I was in pain walking, sitting, standing and even lying down. It’s taken a week of medication, stretching, rest and gentle exercise, but I’m finally on the mend. I got the OK to get back into the Box by Friday, as long as I stay away from the heavy weights for a bit.

Like any sport or fitness regimen, there are dangers and risks involved. As Coaches and Affiliates, you need to minimize them as best you can. However, you can’t force anyone not to do a lift or not to do a movement. An athlete can tell you they are ready and they can do it. But they may have just lied through their teeth. You can make a call as their Coach, but ultimately you don’t know what their body is telling them.

But what you can do happens after the fact. When I got hurt, my Coach immediately gave me information on health professionals to visit. He also made me walk around when I really didn’t want to get up. After the incident, he continued to follow up with me, asking how I was doing and what was going on with my back. The community also came around me. Those who were in the class reached out to see if I was OK. Even some of the members of the Box who hadn’t been around when I was incapacitated found out and checked in on me.

All in all, I felt supported and cared for, and despite having been hurt at the Box, I can’t wait to go back to work out.

I think that’s important to remember. We CrossFitters don’t live life without risk, which is a positive thing. Who wants to live life in a bubble where nothing ever happens? But that risk-taking increases our chances of getting hurt.

Despite your best efforts, a member will probably strain something or have a muscle spasm at your gym. Of course, do your best to prevent such a thing. Healthy members will keep coming back to your Box; continuously hurt members will slip away.

So, follow up with the member that got hurt. Ask your community to come around them. Find out what happened exactly, and look for ways to prevent it from happening again. Stuff happens, so be prepared to react well and then learn from the mistakes that were made.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.